Some of the main attractions on the island of Santorini are the volcanic beaches. There are three beaches named for their colors on the island: the black beach, the white beach, and the red beach. Because we had a limited amount of time on Santorini before we had to be back on the cruise ship we were only able to visit the red beach. It was an awesome place to see.
How to Get to the Red Beach
If you come in to Fria by cable car or the donkey path, make your way to the bus station near the middle of the village. From here you will take the bus that is going to the Red Beach which is the last stop on that particular route. When you get off you are actually still a ways from the red beach so be prepared to walk about 15 or 20 minutes. There will be signs pointing the way.
If you get off at the last stop which is called Red Beach you will have to walk on a small path down by the sea. It will take you actually through some water facing restaurants and shops, which is a little weird, but I guess in Greece they are cool with that. Just keep following the signs and eventually you will break out onto a road that goes to a parking lot where people who rent cars and four wheelers park to go to the beach. At this point you will still need to hike into the beach, so it is a ways further in from here on more difficult terrain. This is hard to do in flip flops so wear sandals instead, if you can.
The alternative to taking the seaside path is to get off one stop earlier at the archeological site and walk on the road. This is actually a more straight forward way to get there as this is the road that leads to the parking lot. The downside to taking the road is that you will be walking right next to some cars that drive pretty fast. It is also hotter because you aren’t next to the water.
Regardless of which route you take you will likely get very thirsty if you are there in the summer like we were. There are some shops near the parking lot where you can buy water and it was some of the cheapest we saw in Europe so we suggest you get some.
As an added note if you get off at the final stop of the bus you will likely see some boats advertising cruises to all three of the beaches. These were only €5 when we were there and if we had more time is probably what we would have done. This will save you walking and allow you to visit all three of the beaches.
What You Will See and Do at the Red Beach
The red beach is a gorgeous rock beach made out of red, black, and gray volcanic pebbles. The water here is crystal clear and amazingly blue. Just looking at it is an experience.
We did not bring swimming stuff with us because we didn’t want to carry it around the entire island and it is very hard to get on and off cruise ships at Santorini. But, if you can bring your swimming stuff we recommend that you do. It looked like it would have been a ton of fun to swim here. We did some wading out to some close rocks.
Like most beaches the fun of the red beach is just to relax and enjoy it. The nice thing about this beach is that it’s unique. You won’t be building any sand castles here, but it sure is pretty.